One Word of Knowledge

There once there was a thief whose job was to steal others' belongings and valuable properties from their home and houses. His faith was strong and he believed that, in his entire life, he would never hear words of wisdom from any religious or spiritual preacher. He believed that by hearing even one word of knowledge, his business of robbery would become very weak and damaged.

One day, while he was going through a temple area there was a Pandit (Religious preacher) giving a powerful speech on the lifestyle of deity and god, goddess in heaven. The thief completely blocked his ears with his fingers so that even a single word of knowledge would not enter him.

While walking, he stepped on a thorn and reached down to pick it out with his left hand. In that moment, he heard the Pandit say that “No living God or Goddess has a shadow.” Upon hearing this word of knowledge, the thief felt very unlucky and said “Oh! What a wasteful moment this is!”

Anyway, after much time passed he was eventually arrested for being involved with a big robbery at the royal palace of the kingdom. Security personnel tried to get him to admit that he had stolen valuable things from the palace, but he denied everything. The security unit reported this to the King, so her majesty the Queen suggested that she would use her trick to make him surrender the truth.

The next night, at midnight, the Queen went alone to visit the thief privately where he was being held in the Royal Palace. The Queen disguised herself by dressing like the fearful and frightening Goddess Mahakali. With a roaring voice, she demanded “Oh Sinful thief – I am the Goddess Mahakali! Tell me the truth! Did you steal the property of the Royal Palace?”

The frightened thief shivered with fear and decided that he would confess the truth. As he was about to speak, he remembered that he had seen the shadow of the Goddess Mahakali in the moonlight when she came into the room. He remembered the words of knowledge, “No living God or Goddess has a shadow.” Since he had seen the shadow of Mahakali in front of him on that night, he knew that she could not be the real goddess Mahakali.

In that moment, he felt tremendous inner support from the words of knowledge. He responded with full confidence and without hesitation, “I did not steal anything!”

Again, the Queen disguised as Mahakali tried to make him fearful but the thief felt no fear and replied the same again:


After some time, the Queen knew the thief would say nothing else so she left. The next day, with the permission of Her Majesty the Queen, the thief was freed from the royal custody.

Because of this incident, the thief realized the true power of knowledge to transform his very troublesome situation into a very favorable one for him. He wondered, “How useful would it be if I heard more words of wisdom?” The answer to this question was profound.

In that moment, his faith and belief were strengthened, and his heart and mind were transformed. He decided that to listen to more knowledge so that he could feel completely fearless in all situations. However, in becoming a devoted listener to more words of wisdom, he completely awakened and went on to live a very happy and fully satisfied life, free from thievery and full of truth.

If you liked this story, you'll love this! We've compiled a list of the top 10 spiritual stories that our readers love. You can read them here.

About the Author: BK Surat Singh Ayer has been on a path of spirituality for several decades, and in June 1985 he decided to devote his life to the Brahma Kumaries international Institution for the service of humanity. He has traveled to many countries to organize exhibitions, campaigns, rallies and fairs about different inner change topics. He has written spiritual stories, translated spiritual books, written spiritual songs, and recorded meditation audios.

He has received medals and other awards from His Majesty, then King Birendra Bir Birkam Shah Dev of Nepal, for his contributions in social services and moral uplifting of the people. He has had His majesty the Kings, Queens and other royal family members of Nepal present at his services.

BK Surat Singh Ayer has also met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sri-Sri 1008 Shankaracharya, Mahamandleshwars The Secretary General of United States, as well as Prime Ministers, Speakers of both the houses, Chief Justices and other Ministers of India and Nepal.

He continues to provide his services at Brahma Kumaries Shanti Sarovar, Academy for a Better World in Hyderabad, South India, and maintains his strong interest in meditation, studying spiritual knowledge, and sharing experiences of deep spirituality through correspondence and other means.

What is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of the “One Word of Knowledge” Story?

The spiritual moral of this story speaks to the transformative power of wisdom and knowledge. Just as the thief experienced a profound shift in perception upon hearing a single word of wisdom, so too can we experience transformation when we open ourselves to the teachings of the divine. Through the pursuit of spiritual knowledge, we can transcend our limitations and find liberation from the constraints of ignorance and fear.

Another spiritual lesson we can glean from this story is the importance of discernment and intuition. Despite the thief's initial skepticism towards spiritual teachings, he was able to recognize the falsehood of the Queen's disguise by recalling the words of knowledge he had heard. This highlights the inherent wisdom that lies within each of us, guiding us towards truth and clarity when we trust in our inner knowing.

The story also underscores the concept of divine intervention and guidance. The thief's encounter with the Queen, disguised as the goddess Mahakali, serves as a catalyst for his spiritual awakening. In this moment of crisis, he is granted the opportunity to tap into a deeper source of courage and wisdom, leading him towards a path of righteousness and liberation.

Furthermore, the thief's journey from darkness to light symbolizes the universal theme of redemption and transformation. Despite his past transgressions, he is able to transcend his former identity and embrace a life of virtue and integrity. This emphasizes the inherent potential for growth and evolution that exists within each of us, regardless of our past mistakes or shortcomings.

The story also underscores the interconnectedness of spiritual knowledge and inner liberation. By immersing himself in the teachings of wisdom, the thief is able to free himself from the shackles of fear and deception. This highlights the transformative power of spiritual practice in cultivating inner peace, resilience, and authenticity.

Moreover, the thief's realization of the value of wisdom serves as a reminder of the importance of lifelong learning and self-discovery. Just as he recognizes the profound impact that one word of knowledge had on his life, so too can we continue to seek wisdom and enlightenment in our own spiritual journey. Through a commitment to ongoing growth and self-reflection, we can deepen our understanding of the divine and align ourselves with higher truths.

In essence, this story invites us to reflect on the transformative potential of spiritual knowledge in our lives. It encourages us to embrace the teachings of wisdom with an open heart and mind, knowing that they have the power to illuminate our path, empower us to overcome challenges, and guide us towards a life of purpose, authenticity, and fulfillment.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. How does the thief's initial resistance to hearing words of wisdom reflect our own tendencies to avoid truths that challenge our beliefs or way of life?
  2. Reflecting on the thief's reaction to hearing the words of knowledge, what moments in your life have unexpectedly shifted your perspective or beliefs?
  3. Consider the symbolism of the thorn piercing the thief's hand. How might moments of discomfort or adversity lead us to insights or realizations we might otherwise overlook?
  4. In what ways do the roles of the Pandit and the Queen represent external influences that can shape our understanding of truth and morality?
  5. Reflect on a time when you felt compelled to speak or act with integrity, even in the face of fear or uncertainty. How did you find the inner strength to stand by your convictions?
  6. Explore the significance of the thief's realization about the shadow of the Goddess Mahakali. How can seemingly small details or observations illuminate deeper truths in our own lives?
  7. Consider the power dynamics at play between the Queen and the thief. How do moments of confrontation or challenge reveal our inner resilience and strength?
  8. Reflect on the thief's journey from denial to acceptance of the truth. How can moments of crisis or adversity become opportunities for growth and transformation?
  9. Explore the role of knowledge and wisdom in the thief's redemption. How can seeking understanding and enlightenment lead us towards greater freedom and fulfillment?
  10. Reflect on the thief's ultimate decision to embrace a life of truth and integrity. How can moments of awakening or realization inspire us to align our actions with our deepest values and beliefs?

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